Eliciting empathy is "a trick," says a prison guard in Rona Munro's taut character study. The guard is talking about Fay, who is serving a life sentence for murder. True, Fay manipulates anyone who comes into her orbit. But the guard's comment might just as aptly describe playwrights who script movie-of-the-week tearjerkers about wayward wives who, like Fay, plunge a kitchen knife into their drunken husbands. Indeed, the "trick" of such dramas is to make characters who have committed heinous deeds thoroughly understandable. It works by gradually meting out an explanation that doesn't quite justify the crime but encourages us to pity the protagonist and see her as a victim of circumstances... More >>>